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Federalism and Philippine Competitiveness: Increasing Productivity and Promoting Shared

Posted: 2018-07-26
Abstract and Programme
Presentation 1: What is Federalism? (Prof. Tayao)
Presentation 2: The Proposed Model of Federalism by the PDP-Laban and Con-Com Updates (Asec. Malaya)
Presentation 3: Presentation from the Business Perspective (Mr. Alcuaz)
Presentation 4: Presentation from the SME Perspective (Dr. Magracia)
Presentation 5: Presenation from the Agriculture and Rural Development Perspective (Usec. Dilangalen)
Presentation 6: Federal Governments Around the World: A Comparative Perspective (Ms. Flores)
Policy Forum Note

The Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Rizalino S. Navarro Policy Center for Competitiveness (RSN PCC), in partnership with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Philippines, held a conference entitled “Federalism and Philippine Competitiveness: Increasing Productivity and Promoting Shared Prosperity” last 26 July 2018, from 9:00AM to 4:00PM, at the Gallardo Function Room, Makati Diamond Residences, Makati City.

With the current debate on the proposed shift to federalism, the conference provided a venue for a discussion on the opportunities and risks of such shift to the productivity and shared prosperity of the regions. The event invited the presentation of six speakers and reaction of two resource persons. It was attended by 110 participants from the government, academe, diplomatic community, private sector, and other stakeholders.

Dr. Jamil Paolo Francisco welcomed the participants and highlighted the importance of governance in creating an enabling environment for Philippine competitiveness. He noted that the conference re-directs the attention from politics to the perspective of various sectors on the proposed shift to federalism.

The morning session provides a glimpse of the proposed federalism where Prof. Edmund Tayao, member of the Consultative Committee to Review the 1987 Constitution, discussed the need for the proposed Federated Regions to have strong political institutions. Assistant Sec. Jonathan Malaya of the Department of Interior and Local Government who talked about the proposed model and highlighted its importance as a documentary basis for debate in the country.

Reaction from Dr. Temario Rivera, former UP Political Science professor and Chairman of the Board of Center for People Empowerment in Governance, cautioned that there is a need for an evidence-based approach before radically shifting to federalism to avoid unintended consequences. The second reactor, Atty. Michael Henry Yusingco, Research Fellow at the Ateneo de Manila University School of Government, noted that proposed draft subscribes to a centralized ethos and provides no substantial devolution to Federated Regions.

The afternoon session presents the perspectives of the small and medium enterprises, business organizations, and rural and agricultural sector, and a comparative perspective with other federal countries. Mr. Coco Alcuaz shared the business perspective of the Makati Business Club and noted the uncertainty on fiscal decentralization and spending. He was followed by Dr. Lemuel Magracia who presented the perspective of MSMEs and noted the benefits like competition and grassroots-driven development. Undersecretary Ranibai Dilangalen of the Department of Agriculture presented the agriculture and rural development perspective and highlighted federalism’s opportunities in bringing the needed funds to the local regions. Ms. Stephanie Rose Flores, Economist at the AIM RSN PCC, provided the comparative analysis on different federal countries and highlighted that federations are not static and constitutional amendments happen in different countries.

The open forum for the morning and afternoon sessions were moderated by Mr. Tristan Canare, Associate Director and Senior Economist at the AIM RSN PCC. The forum was closed by Ms. Tonette de Jesus, Senior Program Manager of KAS Philippines. The conference was hosted by Ms. Rose Ann Camille Caliso.



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